Sunday @ 7 Evening Prayer 11.10.20

Sunday @ 7 – 11.10.20

Good evening and welcome to this time of prayer.

Please have your candle ready.

My name is Karen Harbison and I’m the minister of Westburn Parish Church. I’m happy to be hosting the time of prayer this week on  behalf of Connect clergy – David, Teri and Karen. Good to welcome folk from the congregations and communities associated with Connect, across west Inverclyde. From St Ninian’s, St Margaret’s, St John’s, Lyle Kirk, Old Gourock & Ashton and Westburn we come together to pray . But of course we come together not only with each other but with Christians all across the land as we bring our concerns before God.

 “Among the many challenges our society faces at this time is that of finding the appropriate words to describe and express that which needs to be described and expressed. As we have discovered, that is a far more difficult challenge than might have been anticipated.

“In seeking to describe and express the spiritual challenges of this time, we turn to Scripture and discover that Scripture speaks to us and for us. This is especially so of the Book of Psalms. Augustine, a Christian writer who lived in North Africa in the 5th Century writes: ‘If the psalm prays, you pray. If the psalm laments, you lament. If the psalm exalts, you rejoice. If it hopes, you hope. If it fears, you fear. Everything written here is a mirror for us.’

For many people the first psalm that comes to mind, for many people a favourite psalm, for many people perhaps their only psalm is Psalm 23 – The Lord’s my shepherd. There are lots of different versions of this psalm available – perhaps later this evening you could read your favourite version and also find a different version to read  and take some time to reflect on those words. You could also listen to the psalm in the you tube video I have put on the Connect facebook page.

“At this time, the 23rd Psalm ‘is a mirror for us’: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ The imagery speaks to us and for us. It evokes a memory embedded in our spiritual consciousness that resonates with every part of who we are.

“Whatever paths we take, even to the ‘darkest valley’, the Lord leads us so that we ‘fear no evil’. In our journey, personally and collectively, the Psalm speaks to us and for us.”

We pray:

Good shepherd,
Speak to us and for us.
Speak to us in the midst of us these times
And, in the words of the Psalmist, speak for us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
Speak to us at the break of day
And in the evening.
Speak to us the words that resonate in the depths of our hearts
Even as human words fall silent.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
Journey with us,
Even to dark valleys.
Go before us
And lead us safe home.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
We confess that we fear the times
And that our souls are troubled.
Lead us to still waters
And restore our souls.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
Surely you are with us
And your presence there to comfort.
Comfort us when we are anxious
And strengthen us when we are weak.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Good shepherd,
In these present times,
May your goodness and mercy be with us.
In times to come,
May we recall that goodness and mercy has surely followed us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

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